Oh boy…here we go again.
Yesterday in Toronto, Andrew Bynum said he felt a slight twinge in his knee during the fourth quarter. Today at practice he experienced the same soreness again. Bynum himself described the pain as “sharp” and was excused from practice by Phil Jackson.
It goes without saying that Bynum is a key factor in the quest to three-peat. Just look at how the Lakers perked up on the road once their security blanket in middle returned. While it’s too early to speculate it’s not too soon to be worried.
Perhaps this is just part of the process for Andrew to endure as he gets back up to speed. Bynum has already acknowledged that he’s just going to have to deal with certain types of pain from here out. The way he sacked up in Finals last year is a testament to Drew’s toughness. But this knee problem is already getting to be a broken record.
Bynum’s timeline to return to the Laker lineup was perpetually pushed back as each assessment changed when he was evaluated. Taking the cautious approach is the right thing to do with a young big man. The last thing we want is a Yao Ming-Greg Oden type situation here.
Still, it is very disconcerting to have to ponder another setback to Bynum’s health. It seems pretty obvious that we’ll never see a full season from Drew. For now, I’ll just settle for a full postseason. Whatever it takes, Bynum must be at full strength come playoff time. It’s going to take all hands on deck to defend the title this year.